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We let him come back home

Started by PatiencePlease, November 09, 2011, 06:34:55 AM

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.... and I'm not sure this is going to work out.  Back in October I introduced myself here.  Our son had moved out and wasn't speaking to us.  He had a strong sense of entitlement and the Bank of Mom and Dad had closed.  He was angry - spewed some nastiness and left.

This month we experienced a death in the family -- along the same time he was evicted from the apartment (his friend's landlord did not want another person living there) and was sleeping in his car (which by the way was uninsured).

With all our emotions on the surface we suggested to him that he move back to our house to regroup himself and his finances.  He did, telling us he regretted what he had done. 

I spelled out boundaries very clearly to him.   Bitter words are not to be spoken to me.  The silent treatment is not permitted.   If he goes down that path again -- he's out for good.

He turned in his plates to motor vehicle.  We drive him to work when we can -- otherwise someone from his job drives him.  He is working alot because of the approaching holiday season.  He plans to get his car back on the road.

But I can see and sense he is confused and without any goals.  Due to the family all gathering for the funeral, several family members spoke to him.  He listened.

But whether or not he is changed, I can't tell.

Should any of you very wise women have advice to share with me, I would greatly appreciate it.  These times are hard for me and I'm not sure I'm thinking clearly.  Thank you.


Hey Patience-

My sons went back and forth until they finally moved out.

Rather than setting yourself up to enforce certain behavior on another adult, I'd put him on a month-to-month situation.  If he delivers more joy than pain at the end of the month, let him stay another month.  If he has learned how to interact with other adults by then, you could set a move out time at  some number of months so that he has a goal to work for and you have an end in sight.

Maybe cheerfully mock up "I love you, honey, but you and I both need to get on with our lives.  I'm thinking about renting out your room for some extra cash...." or something like that.



Patience I'm so glad you were able to reach out to your DS and he was in a position to reach back.

My first thought was that your DS is learning a new skill - how to interact with other adults.  It's hard when you go from being a teenager, who is suspicious of all "old" people, to suddenly becoming one of those people - who has responsibilities and who is held accountable for their actions.  (I know, wah! - but still, it's a SHOCK for some people.)

I believe the Dr Phil-ism that you teach people how to treat you.  The thing is, there *IS* a place in between you being a doormat and him getting evicted.  BUT it involves you NOT letting him treat you like a doormat.  You can't 'expect' him to act in a civil way and let yourself get walked all over, hoping he'll smarten up.  You have to call him on it, right away.  As soon as he starts backsliding, you have to say something.  And it doesn't have to be an argument, you can just say "Hey, I'm not cool with the messes you've been leaving, I expect them to be cleaned up by tomorrow evening."

Patience, you have a chance here to forge an adult relationship with your DS - I hope you seize it!  You'll be thankful in the long run.


Patience, I'm sorry for the loss in your family.

I agree with both Doe and Scoops take on the situation.  I think you will have to start out with determining what you find unacceptable, even write it down, and then you will have to enforce it with DS.  Even think of the severity of the offense, what is something you can live with (after an apology) and what is something that is cause for eviction. 

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


You have already made the big decision imho.  He is in the house, and you are helping him.  It seems to me that as long as he is moving in apositive direction, help him hold the course.  I would let little things go but stand firm on the things that really matter such as respectful communication.  "Choose your battles; your out to win the war."  I am assuming your purpose is to help him grow up and become a productive and independent citizen fo course.

lancaster lady

PP :

I think you should give him a little time to prove himself .
you have set the boundaries , let him adhere to the rules .
He has realised the alternative and doesn't like it , he's doing his best , working hard , and took his
unlicensed vehicle off the road . these are all pluses . He's getting his head round his new situation ,
and hopefully will not revert back , he knows the consequences .


Thank you all so very much for your replies and wise words.  I'm printing this out to share with my husband as your responses will help him too.


I'm a big believer in second chances, because I am thankful I have been given them a few times.  You are giving him his second chance, so make the best of it with what you will and will not do.  A true second chance means you have to let go of the past things and make your decisions based on what he is doing now.  Doesn't mean you forget what he did, but you allow him to have a fresh start.  He has either learned or hasn't.  Time will tell and you protect yourself in the meantime with self-boundaries.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I really wanted to start a new thread stating that I've been visiting this wonderful place and doing lots of homework.  Finding all you wise women has been a true gift for me!! 

Anyhooo,  I wasn't sure where to place this statement so I decided just to latch on to the thread I started a few days ago.

Our son doesn't have a car at the moment and as I stated we drive him to work when we are able to.  You'll be happy to know that last night he asked to use my car to play in  a team-building BBL game  organized by his work supervisor.  I told him "no," but my husband and I offered to drive him if he needed a drive.  The BBL game didn't happen because they weren't able to secure court space. 

Our son didn't get combative nor was he angry.  I would like to think he's starting to "get it" but I don't want to be overly optimistic.  Time will tell on that one.

I just wanted to let you all know that I said "no." That's a biggie for me.  Reading here at WWU and doing my homework is making a difference.  Thank you.


Quote from: PatiencePlease on November 14, 2011, 01:34:45 PM
I just wanted to let you all know that I said "no."

And the world is still here!  Yay and good for you!


Patience:  There is no shame in letting an AC come back home....we love our AC, no matter.  My heart goes out to you and to your DS, who is trying to find his way.  And HOORAY for you saying NO....YES!!   This is his route to independence and renewed self-esteem.  Part of growing up is to falter and stumble and then figure out how to make sense of it.  And it is so agonizing to be a parent and watch.  But what if we never let our toddler attempt to walk because we were afraid they would fall?...they would never develop confidence or leg muscles. 

It sounds to me that you are learning and he is learning.  You both are on the right path.  Stay strong and keep posting here, we are with you!!!

I think if he sees you are strong he will be strong.  Your story warms my heart. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)


Quote We drive him to work when we can -- otherwise someone from his job drives him.

I told him "no," but my husband and I offered to drive him if he needed a drive.

Look at you grow!  What a terrific example of maintaining your boundaries.  It helps in many ways, including improving your relationship with him, because now you don't have resentment for feeling as if he took advantage of you.   Good work!


Thank you all for your support.  I will continue to do what I know in my heart needs to be done. 

This forum is a HUGE help to me.  I will continue to read, read and learn.......


Good for you, Patience. I know it's not easy, but you are doing it!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb